We have a housing supply crisis and Labour has a plan to address this. We are building social housing, launching a long term affordable housing scheme, a save to buy scheme, tackling homelessness and turning around empty flats.
Under the last GovernmentÂ social housing wasÂ outsourced toÂ private developers and councils stopped building. When the construction sector collapsed so did the supply of new homes while the State was left reliant on Troika loans.Â Â Councils were getting out of providing housing and giving it to voluntary housing bodies.
To rebuild that capacity, we’ve hired 420 staff into local authorities and plans to build 5000 homes are underway right now. Under our plan we are investing â‚¬4 billion into social housing up to 2020. We have also strengthened the rights of renters, provided millions of extra funding for frontline services to address homelessness, and ensured flexibility in rent allowance so people can stay in their homes.
Our Plan for Social and Affordable Housing
Our detailed policy on housing was launched this week and if re-elected Labour will:
- Establish a â€˜Save to Buyâ€™ scheme through a savings account run through the post office network.
- Provide â‚¬300 million to develop affordable rental housing â€“ for those not on the housing lists but spending too much of their income on rent
- Establish a Private Rental Commission â€“ Along the lines of the Low Pay Commission to set the appropriate regulatory regime for both renters and landlords from 2019 onwards to improve security of tenure and housing supply for landlords
- Continue with innovative approaches to tackling homelessness and fund the immediate delivery of 500 Rapid delivery Units specifically for those living in hotel emergency accommodation.
- Reform NAMA into a Land Development Agency for better long-term management of land.
- Ensure Local Authorities are building 10,000 social homes a year by 2020 as part of a package to deliver 110,000 social housing units.
Full details of this are below in the embedded pdf.
Kevin’s Record on Housing
In Dublin Bay South a lot of work is underway. Nearly 200 empty social housing units were returned to use in the South East area in 2015, and work is underway on those that remain. Families are moving into newly refurbished and warm homes.
We are also building and refurbishing complexes. Before Christmas I turned the sod on the regeneration of Charlemont which will deliver up to 150 new social housing units. The refurbishment of Crampton Court in Temple Bar will deliver another 28 units. On Maxwell Road in Rathmines another 9 new apartments have been built. We have plans to rebuild and refurbish homes at Moss St (19 units) and Beech Hill (20 units). 12 new homes were provided before Christmas by the Peter McVerry Trust on Hogan Place in an old DCC flat complex.
I have a strong record of delivering social housing projects in Dublin Bay South in my time as a Cllr – on Gloucester St and the Pump House on London Bridge Road. I want to continue that work.
Development work is underway in the Docklands that will deliver new apartments. NAMA is building 20,000 new affordable family homes, mostly in the Dublin area over the next 4 years. The Irish Glass Bottle Site in Poolbeg has the potential to deliver an entire new community in the lifetime of the next Government.
As Minister of State in Social Protection I have ensured that maximum flexibility is provided to community welfare officers to provide the necessary level of rent supplement on a case by case basis. Nearly 7,000 people have benefited from this, over 4,000 of them in Dublin. Alongside that we have transferred over 6,000 people to the Housing Assistance Payment which provide certainty, and a differential rent, allowing people to go back to work and not lose their housing benefit.
We have already committed â‚¬3.8 billion in a house building programme and in Budget 2016 we continued to provide for immediate housing needs.
- NAMA will build 20,000 homes over next 5 years, with most targeted to the Dublin region including 4,500 next year â€“ this will mean 80 new homes a week.
- Increased funding in 2016 for social housing by nearly 20% to â‚¬900 million
- 55% since 2014 in funding for emergency homeless accommodation with an extra â‚¬17 million committed in Budget 2016 bringing total to â‚¬70 million.